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Full text of "The New World Order"

DISRUPTIVE FORCES
effects were not disruptive at all It knit together
the spreading United States of America over
distances that might otherwise have strained
their solidarity to the breaking-point, and it
enabled the sprawling British Empire to sustain
contacts round the whole planet.
The disruptive influence of the abolition of
distance appeared only later. Let us be clear
upon its essential significance. For what seemed
like endless centuries the swiftest means of loco-
motion had been the horse on the high-road, the
running man, the galley and the uncertain,
weather-ruled sailing ship. (There was the
Dutchman on skates on his canals, but that was
an exceptional culmination of speed and not for
general application.) The political, social and
imaginative life of man for all those centuries
was adapted to these limiting conditions. They
determined the distances to which marketable
goods could conveniently be sent, the limits to
which the ruler could send his orders and his
soldiers, the bounds set to getting news, and
indeed the whole scale of living. There could
be very little real community feeling beyond the
range of frequent intercourse.
Human life fell naturally therefore into areas
determined by the interplay between these
limitations and such natural obstacles as seas